A wonderful year – A review of the academic year 2017/2018

Wow. Wow. Wow. I’m rarely lost for words but this year has been so incredible. I’ve had the honour of visiting twenty schools and worked with over 5,000 children. Every school is special… but some are extra special!

The teachers I have met have been so enthusiastic about reading and writing. I’ve loved sharing my story, running writing workshops and giving pupils the confidence to believe they can be anything they want to be in the future. I’ve experienced the most fantastic singing, press conferences, Q&A sessions and I’ve been asked the most interesting questions. The writing that has been produced has been out-of-this-world.

Hand on Heart

I was asked in November if I would become the patron of Hand on Heart, a charity that places defibrillators in schools. I was so shocked to hear the statistics concerning sudden cardiac arrests in young people – 12 young people die in the UK every week. I am promoting the charity and cause as much as I can, EVERY school should have a defibrillator.

Here is an interview I did with the Liverpool Echo/Widnes World >

Messi A-Z

I’ve been busy writing my first football biography – Messi A-Z. It’s been so much fun finding about the Barcelona star. The book will be published in the Autumn, can’t wait for you to read it!

The Best World Book Week Ever

The highlight of the year for me was working on a very special writing project with the children of Adswood Primary School (Stockport), St Mary’s Catholic Primary School (Swindon) and Cambridge Road Primary School (Ellesmere Port). Together we wrote a picture book and it was illustrated by the fantastic Scott Wells.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the children and we had a great time, acting out our book at the end of each day. The ideas generated were incredible and the finished story was even better than I could have ever imagined. It was published at the end of January and appeared in bookshops from the 1st February.

It has been popular in the schools I’ve visited and we’ve raised £100 from book sales so far which we’ve donated to Hand on Heart to help fund a defibrillator.

Holding a book signing in each of the three schools was great fun and the look of joy on the children’s faces was priceless. They loved signing their autographs and it will be something they will treasure forever.

Next year… The day the books disappeared (working title)

I will again be writing a picture book in the Autumn term that will be written with children from selected schools. The book will explore what the world would be like without books and will have reading superheroes save the day.

I will spend one day at each school working with 1 – 2 classes. It’s an intensive day and at the end, the children can perform the book in a whole school assembly. Once the book is published in February, I will return for a joint book signing.

If you would like to be involved please get in touch ASAP. I won’t be working with many schools on this project. If chosen, you can pick which classes/groups of children you would like me to work with, but I recommend Y5 and Y6. My email address is saraholiverauthor@yahoo.co.uk

Here are some quotes from my co-authors at St Mary’s Primary School:

Larissa Hall – “The experience I had with Sarah Oliver was amazing. She was so inspiring to us. When we did the play it was fun too.”

Daniel Cunningham – “I enjoyed the part when I designed the treasure map. I also liked it when we performed the book in front of the school and seeing the book published.”

Elliot Fahy – “I enjoyed it with Sarah Oliver and my favourite part was when we acted the whole story out. This experience inspires me a bit to become an author and help children write stories.”

Lewis Bhola – “I enjoyed the banana in the book you had to find on each page and the bookworm. I really enjoyed writing my signature for the first time and roleplaying the monkey called Danny.”

Grace McKeown – “I enjoyed the experience and I want to be known as an author. I really liked how we use our autograph like a real author.”

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Author visits to primary schools in Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and beyond

2018 has been a very busy year for me so far. I’ve been privileged to visit sixteen schools in Swinton, Stockport, Ellesmere Port, West Kirby, Birkenhead, Preston, Wigan, Widnes, Runcorn and Chorley. We’ve had fun dressing up and acting out my Pollyanne book with the help of some very talented actors and actresses hee-hawing and pretending to be opera singers! The children have been full of story ideas and have designed some wonderful front covers for their own amazing animal stories.

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The Y5 and Y6 classes have been so enthusiastic, we’ve enjoyed writing books together as a class and holding press conferences. The standard of writing has been excellent with it being tough to pick the winners in each school. Every school I’ve visited has been enthusiastic about reading for pleasure and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to encourage the children to try and read something new – whether it’s non-fiction, newspapers, comics or joke books.

My first picture book ‘The Best World Book Week Ever’ has been so popular and I’m over the moon (shout to my co-authors, Y5 and Y6 children from Adswood, Cambridge Road and St Mary’s primary schools). Meeting my illustrator Scott in person after months of speaking through email was great, we’re already chatting about what our next book together will be. We did two joint author visits – one at his sons’ school and the other at the school he attended when he was five. It was nice to share our favourite parts of the story and our favourite illustrations.

I’ve received some lovely feedback from teachers and children at the schools I’ve visited. I love doing author talks, they’re my favourite thing about being an author. It feels incredible to meet children who already have one or more of my books at home.

Happy reading,

Lots of love

Sarah

x

 

The Best World Book Week Ever! Get your copy now

I’m happy to announce that The Best World Book Week Ever is out (RRP £6.99) so you can get your copy now from bookshops, Amazon or direct from me (I’m happy to sign your copy and write a special message if you email saraholiverauthor@yahoo.co.uk). We’ve had three great book signings so far and I’ve shared the book with several schools during my author visits. It’s been very well received.

The Best World Book Week Ever

If you’re looking for a book to read to your child or class in the run up to World Book Day, this book is perfect. It encourages children to try reading new types of books, newspapers and comics, gets them excited about books and World Book Day in general. It also gives you plenty of ideas for what you could during World Book Week/Day. If you do buy a copy of the book and would like some worksheets relating to the book, please send me an email saraholiverauthor@yahoo.co.uk.

Here are just some World Book Day activity ideas you could do relating to the book:

  • Design your own front cover for the Jungle Times
  • Act out the story for the rest of the school. Perfect activity for Y5 or Y6
  • Design your own Super Monkey magazine
  • Create a book themed treasure hunt with map and chocolate coins.
  • Hold a class book quiz. The children could have fun writing the questions.
  • Write your very own fairy tale.
  • Hold your own bedtime story afternoon and read the stories the children have written (while wearing PJs and drinking hot choc).

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the story, please send me a tweet or email.

Lots of love

Sarah

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A busy few weeks

I hope you’re looking forward to Christmas as much as I am!

I’m so excited about ‘The Best World Book Week’ coming out in January, as are my co-authors, the children of St Mary’s, Adswood and Cambridge Road Primary Schools. We’ve had great fun writing together and acting out the story. It’s going to be lovely doing book signings together.

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Last week, I was invited to spend a morning at Mattel Play! in Liverpool with my girls. We had so much fun. Lizzy loved the Thomas the Tank area the best, driving the train and pretending to be a farmer. Lily isn’t walking yet but she still managed to get around the shop in the Fireman Sam area, filling her basket with goodies. I was really pleased that I managed to get Lizzy to climb inside the fire engine as she normally shies away from fire engines at summer fairs.

The Bob the Builder area was ideal for Lizzy because she loves building towers and knocking them down. Because it was mid-week it wasn’t busy either, so Lily and the other little ones could crawl away to their heart’s delight. We can’t wait to go again, Lizzy in particular loved every minute and it was so nice to have a day out with my girls in Liverpool.

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Has your school got a defibrillator?

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the UK Heart Safe Awards in Manchester. I met some lovely people and even got to present an award. I felt so honoured to be invited, I love being the patron of the Hand on Heart charity which is saving lives by placing defibrillators in schools and community buildings, training adults how to use a defibrillator and teaching children how to perform basic life support.

 

If your school doesn’t have a defibrillator please, please, please get in touch with Hand on Heart. Do it today.  It’s really easy, just send an email to enquiries@handonheart.org and they can help get a defibrillator in your school. Don’t wait until you need one or it could be too late.

EVERY school should have a defibrillator and Hand on Heart are on a mission to make every school in the UK heart safe. If someone has a cardiac arrest, a defibrillator can increase survival rates by 74%. If you’re a parent, ask your child’s school if they have a defibrillator and if they don’t encourage them to get in touch with Hand on Heart. My oldest daughter’s nursery has one and I’m so pleased that it’s there, it’s keeping my daughter and her friends safe.

Inspirational performers

A wonderful choir from Park Road Primary School in Sale performed last night and they were incredible. After their performance Christine from Hand on Heart revealed why they were there. They had been the last school in the Trafford borough to be given a free defibrillator by Hand on Heart. They were so touched that they decided to fundraise so that another school could receive a free defibrillator. The school who received the defibrillator decided to do the same so their generosity has created a ripple effect. How amazing is that! You can hear them one song here >

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It was so moving

The UK Heart Safe award winners had all helped make a difference and saved countless lives. One woman had saved her mum’s life when she had a cardiac arrest at work, another man had saved the life of a man at the gym he worked at, because they had a defibrillator there, ready to use. Companies won awards for helping to fund defibrillators and one man had managed to fundraise enough money to fund 92 defibrillators. He really has made a huge difference and it all started when he learnt that a man had died in his local Morrisons store and there hadn’t been a defibrillator within 10 miles. He fundraised for one defibrillator, then two and the rest is history.

It was an incredible night and I really hope you can help make the UK heart safe. Hand on Heart are currently trying to get funding from the Aviva Community Fund for four defibrillators. Please vote for us by clicking here >

Much love,

Sarah

xxx

PS this pic is of me and Louise, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to last night. She is a Hand on Heart volunteer and a real life saver. Hand on Heart installed a defibrillator at her workplace and the very next day she used it to save a man’s life. She hadn’t received training on how to use it, but she’s proof that you don’t need training to use a defib, as it talks to you and tells you exactly what to do.

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Could your school co-author a book with me?

After spending the last few years focusing on non-fiction and biographies, I’m pleased to report that my first picture book is due out at the end of January. The BEST World Book Week Ever is a story about a cheeky monkey called Danny who loves to read all kinds of books, comics, newspapers, you name it, he reads it! His jungle class are celebrating World Book Week in lots of amazing ways and as readers, we’re invited along for the ride.
During November, I’m planning on visiting a select number of schools and running workshops, we’ll work on the story, decide who Danny’s classmates should be and think about the pictures we want my fantastic illustrator to draw. The workshops will mainly suit Y5 and Y6 classes, but we’d start the day with a whole school assembly, and finish with the Y5 and Y6 children performing the story we’ve written together for the rest of the school (using my vast array of costumes and props). 
It’s a very unique project and I’m super excited about it. The book will be for sale everywhere, in bookshops in the UK, and across the world, and has the potential to do very well. If your school are involved, you’d be credited in the first few pages of the book, and I could pop over and we could do a signing together, either at the school, at a local bookshop or library (I’m happy to arrange nearer the time).
If you’re interested, please drop me an email and we can discuss dates and prices. My email address is saraholiverauthor@yahoo.co.uk.

My first picture book

I am very, very excited to announce my first picture book is being published. I’m bursting with excitement in fact. I’m working with a fantastic illustrator called Scott, and hopefully I’ll be able to share a picture of the main character Danny next week. (I’ve named him after my brother Dan)…

‘The Best World Book Week Ever’ is out in January. It tells the tale of Danny, a cheeky monkey who loves to read all kinds of books, and is celebrating World Book Week with the rest of his jungle class. This story is perfect to read in the run up to your own World Book Week, or during the week itself. Danny’s story will encourage reluctant readers to try new books, and get everyone in your class/school excited about books and reading. It’s not available to pre-order yet, but when it is, you’ll be the first to know.

In other news, I’ve just got back from a lovely family holiday in Disneyland Paris. It was out-of-this-world incredible. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, me, my hubby or my girls!

I’ve been asked to be the patron of the charity Hand on Heart, what a great honour. Hand on Heart, help raise awareness and train teachers to save children’s lives with defibrillators in schools. If your school doesn’t have a defibrillator, get in touch with Hand on Heart and lets get one fitted ASAP.

I hope you’re excited by my news,

Sarah

xxx

 

 

I’m back!

Hi everyone, sorry for my silence. I’ve had a lovely time off with my baby Lily. She was eight months old on Wednesday, that’s gone so quick. I’ve been busy writing picture books which I’m very excited about and I managed to pop into four amazing schools to join their World Book Day celebrations in March. (It was hard leaving Lily with her grandparents and daddy for a whole day for the first time but I didn’t want to miss out on meeting you guys).

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the Literacy Awards at Swinton High School which was incredible. I met so many children and adults who were as passionate about reading as I am. Are you reading any good books at the minute? If you are, why not send me a tweet? I’m looking for some recommendations. (Don’t forget, I also have a fan page on Facebook)

Here are some pictures from the Awards:

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Hello summer holidays!

Last week schools broke up for the summer which means no more author talks until September at least. I’ve had a lovely time visiting schools during the academic year 2015/16 and I’ve worked with some amazing pupils.

I’m very grateful to the staff and pupils of All Saints C of E Primary School in Manchester and Victoria Road Primary School in Northwich who have sent me testimonials I can include on my author talks page. I’ve shared my author story with over 5000 pupils so far and I’m hoping to do even more author talks in the academic year 2016/17.

My brother has moved to London to become a primary school teacher and I’m looking forward to doing an author talk in his new school… I’ll have to add some embarrassing photos of us growing up to my assembly presentation for that one!

Sarah Oliver at the BBCThere’s only a month to go until my Zayn book comes out in America so I’m very excited about that. I’m looking forward to my author copies arriving any day now.

A few weeks ago I was interviewed for The Today Show in Australia which was pretty scary but thrilling at the same time. Sadly I didn’t get to go to Australia but it was still exciting to visit the BBC studios in Manchester to film it.

I’m currently writing a new Miley Cyrus book for my American publishers and planning more books – I will of course keep you informed.

Much love,

Sarah (and bump)

xxxxx

 

World Book Day is nearly here!

world book day 1I’ve had a busy few weeks. I visited 500 children at St Margaret Mary’s Junior School in Huyton, the children were amazing. The school promotes reading a lot and this showed in the work the children produced. I was blown away by the imaginations of the Y3 and Y4 children I worked with. The Y5 and Y6 pupils were really interested in finding out what press conferences are like and how I go about interviewing people.

Later this week, I’m heading to Victoria Road Primary School in Northwich and I can’t wait. I think doing author talks is the best thing about being an author because I get to inspire children. I love it when children (and teachers) come up to me after one of my assemblies and say that my talk has really moved them.

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